Mumbai: Under fire for writing numbers on the foreheads of the Elphinstone victims, Mumbai’s KEM has clarified that ‘it was a scientific measure’ and that the hospital didn’t intend to hurt anybody’s sentiments.
In order to help relatives and friends identify their loved ones who lost life during the Parel bridge stampede incident on Friday morning, posters and flex boars of the victims were displayed at various places in the KEM hospital.
The 22 commuters who were taken to KEM hospital for treatment were announced brought dead.
A photo of the flex board displaying the mugshots of victims at the KEM Hospital where circulated on various WhatsApp group.
The relatives who visited the hospitals were told to identify their loved ones through the photos of 22 victims with numbers written across their foreheads.
Dr Avinash Supe, dean of KEM Hospital, said, “Due to emergency, they might have written it on the foreheads. It was not intentionally done and if we have hurt someone’s emotions, we are extremely sorry for that.”
Clarifying on why bodies were given numbers on foreheads, Dr Harish Pathak, HoD, Forensic Science, KEM Hospital, said, “When suddenly 22 dead bodies were received at KEM Hospital’s emergency ward and lot of relatives were rushing to identify them, it would have been a big mental trauma to make all relatives to see all 22 dead bodies to identify their missing persons. It would have become chaotic and hectic exercise. Hence we took the photographs of the face of all dead bodies, numbers them and displayed it to the relatives on a laptop screen. Subsequently, the photographs were also displayed on a flex at the hospital to further expedite the process of identification and we could identify 19 dead bodies within three hours and started the process of panchanama.”
He added “After the autopsy, those numbers were erased before handing over the dead bodies.”
“At no point, we intended to or planned for circulating those photographs in social media. Hence it would be unjustified and unwise to criticize this scientific method adopted by us with sole intention and purpose of speedy and smooth identification, autopsy and handing over of dead to their relatives,” he said.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Devendra Fadanavis returned to Mumbai around 11 pm on Friday. He went to the KEM straight from airport and visited the victims.